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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nasty Storms Bring Reminders

The last 24 hours (and still ongoing) have brought the mid-west some really bad storms.  High winds, tornado’s & sever weather have just wrecked havoc leaving a path of destruction.  And it’s not even storm season yet…by normal conditions. 

Today the weather forecasters made comment although it’s months early, this is the start of our tornado season with more rough weather is due by weeks end….lucky us!

So it’s time to check the storm tubs which contain the following:

Hand crank radio with battery or electrical ability…a must in this area.  With television & radio now all digital, the first heavy wind drops the signal. So much for information!  We were fortunate to find one that has TV also and it’s been worth it’s weight in gold.

Flash lights for everyone, extra batteries for each & glow sticks. The glow sticks give off an amazing amount of light and the kids will feel like they are helping…and you will know where they are!

Appropriate changes of clothing for each family member..changed out seasonally & check sizes.If necessary baby items, diapers etc. 

boots with 3-4 PR of sock.  Storm damage can leave an awful mess & boots with downed branches or siding are a must. Extra socks because you have to take care of your feet. Nothing worse than wet feet

 first aid kit-military surplus medical kit is wonderful! We mailed off for ours and it has a full surgical kit in there.  We keep Tylenol, aspirin and antihistamine, tea tree oil & clove oil for dental needs in ours. Be sure and stash a few days supply of any medications you may need along with copies of your prescriptions.

Food for 3-4 days at a minimum…per person

Water 3 gallons per day per person….this we still have to work on but are using bottled water for now.

Cards, games books a few notebooks, knitting and copies of  emergency contact info.

Yes, some folks will say we’re nuts but Katrina was an eye opener.  1 good storm system can put down over 100 tornados.   We had a huge wind storm here a few years ago that took power out of over 300K homes for over a week, some were out for over 3 weeks.  We were able to cook on the fire pit and camp stove with canned goods and fresh garden vegies.  Soups and stews I’d canned the fall before were pretty tasty. 

They say the average home has only a 3 day supply of food.  Living in the midwest… 3 days supply…..it’s just plain nuts.

What about you, do you have a storm shelter and ready tubs?

Stay safe out there!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Lovely Loot!

A while back I started following a wonderful knitting blog “Two sides of the Same Stitch”  It’s a tech knitting, fear stomping, educational blog written by 2 women Gwen & Kellie. Designers, teachers, daughters, Mom…. they write dropping nuggets of knitting gold through their blog posts.  

Recently Kellie wrote this post asking readers what knitting tricks they used…well from this post they had a drawing and……I won!

I feel like I should talk like a pirate Arrr, look at this booty!  A treasure box to be sure..

A sweaters worth of Comfort cotton! 

Totally drool worthy..I’d not used it before and plan to be selfish and knit for ME

Same stitch prize box 017

“The Knit Kit”, which is a self contained package of nearly any tool a knitter would need….a “Fix a stitch”..both of which will be invaluable

Same stitch prize box 018Same stitch prize box 019


A beautiful Shawl Pin…I’ve been looking for one to use with a test knit YEAH!!Same stitch prize box 020

This adorable Wacky Woolies Key ring (LOVE)!

Same stitch prize box 021

It Itches which is a HOOT!

Same stitch prize box 024

And at the bottom of the box this fun book of crochet designs by Lucinda Guy

Same stitch prize box 022It wasn’t even out of the box and I was flipping pages (how fun is this!) so,

 Same stitch prize box 023

Imagine my surprise when I did pick up the book and found even MORE!

This great project bag from Tangled String (perfect for sock knitting) and a beautiful beaded Clover Thread Cutter Pendant

Tangled String 001

And 2 more smallish clear bags for tools…which will be great to have filled with my new tools, ready in my knitting go bags!

Same stitch prize box 026

Was I right?

Is this a treasure box or what!

Arrr, Lovely booty!


Each will be put to good use!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Bumper is DONE!!!

I thought for sure Alix would be entering high school & Evie would have collage applications in hand before the bumper pad would be completed.  It’s been decorating my dining room table for nearly a month.

I tend to get bored with a project quickly & after it sets unfinished for a while well, they tend to be set aside and forgotten.  Like the flannel jammie pants I made for Erika a few years ago…Later this month when I add the elastic to the waist they will fit Evelyn

Any way, I didn’t think a young lady in High School wouldn’t appreciate a bumper pad…nor the crib so it was finished & sent home with Erika yesterday….and am I ever glad because I’m really tired of looking at these piles of prints.

I think this has to be one of the least expensive bedroom sets I’ve ever made.

The quilts & bumper pad were all made with scrap, the batting in the quilts was cut from a surprisingly sturdy & warm  $5.00 blanket.  The Nu-foam insert for the bumper was purchased with a 50% off coupon and stacked with another 20% off your total purchase. The fabric for the sheets 1/2 came from stash..I think I might have spent $20. total with the majority of that toward the bumper padding.

How’s that for frugal!

Bumper Baby & Skirt 011Evie & Alix's Quilts 001[6]

The colors are actually bolder than they show here

So, THEY ARE DONE!! I’m really hoping Erika will take a photo of the room set up for me.

As we  Evie & I were cleaning up the scraps, she picked up the excess from the bumper pad as said

“What’s dis Gwama”? It fow me?  Fow MY baby?”

What could I do but make another blanket…..and then because of help re make it. She chose the backing & stayed with me helping along each step. It was fun looking at a simple project with new eyes…and fingers

I’d trimmed the edges after sewing the backing on…set the scissors down and turned to grab the pins for my helper….and found her “trimming” about 4 more inches from the width.  Lessons for us both, a reminder for me of safety and a lesson for her again of what she is and is not allowed to do when helping… 

I left it as “she made it” and continued on.

  Bumper Baby & Skirt 014

Not quite done and “Belle” had to try it out

I’m not sure but I think I heard her say “What do you think of that Barbie!”

Bumper Baby & Skirt 015

Evie Chose the “Wiggle Waggle” stitch for top stitching…

bet you thought it was called zig-zag

Bumper Baby & Skirt 016

Not quite the size we’d intended but she’s very proud of her work

Bumper Baby & Skirt 018

And I’m thrilled to have a sewing buddy…

Excuse me, I need to go hide all the scissors!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I got nothin

Nothing exciting to report that is.

Bits of randomness….

It’s been a weird week where you just kinda float through it.  Nothings wrong just having a hard time focusing on anything specific.

Made the girls some crib sheets,  still have the bumper pad to finish. It’s still sitting on the dining room table in a cluttered mess along with another t-shirt I need to make into a skirt for Evie.

On the de-crapifying side I did drop off 3 large bags to good will, & have quite a bit I need to list on free-cycle.

Evie’s had touch that flu virus along with a minor sinus infection that brings the cough,sore throat, wonderful attitude & no appetite which is saying a lot for a super picky eater. Lots of fluids to flush it out along with long cuddles have been the RX for the week. How one little nose can hold so much  “stuff” just amazes me.

I did get a little knitting done.  One of my long time customers is having her baby in the next week so I have this set ready to mail,  Super girly and just plain fun to knit. 

I need to get my seeds started for the garden but I’ve got to find a better area in the house to start them.  I sure don’t want last years fiasco of molded seeds. 

I’ve to many projects in the works laying around that need finished & cleaned up…again

Here’s hoping next week brings some focus.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Finishing Friday…The Hurrier I go

The behinder I get. 

Trying to finish all my projects before weeks end has left me with more work to do or redo.

I was able to get all of the strips sewn, pressed and cut to size for the bumper pad

Bumper WIP & String flop 002

I thought whooowheee, I’m on a roll.  I grabbed up the solid for the back and started cutting and was done in a flash

I matched the backing to the front and started to sew…I was going to have that sucker done by the time Erika came to pick up Evie

And then, I realized I’d cut half of the backing panels an inch short.

Bumper WIP & String flop 003

90 inches in width 1 stinkin inch short.  I wanted to have a hissy fit but I would have been the only one at the pity party  .  What’s the rule?  Measure twice cut once?

I can salvage it, I have enough of the lighter purple to use & have decided to alternate the shades on the back….it may turn out cuter than I’d originally planned.

.My second behinder fail was these string globes, (I’ve another hanging in the laundry room)

I scanned through the directions, balloons, string/yarn, glue.  I read all the comments on 3-4 blogs to find all the snags others ran into...well, it would have been nice if I’d read the basic directions! 

Bumper WIP & String flop 004

It was nice and firm, glue was great, dried nice..I popped the balloon and realized one important step…I forgot to put vaseline on the balloon first!

Bumper WIP & String flop 006

I think it’s fixable but, it would be just as much work as making another GAH!!

So, I walked away from that and decided to finish a knitting project third time a charm right?

  A pair of custom “Bella Mitts”

I’ve made a few pair, knew the pattern well by now and needed to finish them for the confidence boost.  20 rows, & the thumb is all I had to finish them off.  15 minutes later I slipped my hand inside feeling pretty good……and forgot

I needed to add one additional cable repeat (because I was using worsted weight weight instead of bulky which give a different gauge) I’d even made notes as a reminder on the pattern GAH!!!!!!!!

Bella Mitts 001

ripped out & ready to add the extra repeat

So, I had a glass of wine and let Larry take me out for supper, there was no way I was going near a stove!

So how was your “Finishing Friday”?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Protein & A bit of Sewing

Yesterday, I saw this post on Facebook by my youngest daughter Erika (Evie & Isaiah’s mom)

 Erika:FYI: There are 3 grams of protein in a Hershey's Bar.

Last night’s supper was fridge clean out, so just incase our protein intake was low we decided to give it a boost….

Chocolate pound cake


With just a little bit of icing


On the crafting front…

Still finishing up the bedding for the girls room.

The quilts we put together from my fabric stash.  Having worked in a fabric store for 8 years I learned that fabric breeds (because I won’t admit I purchased all that is in the basement!)

Simple bright shades cut to 3 inch strips & each quilt bordered and backed in different shades of purple.

Evie & Alix's Quilts 001

These have been done for a few months, Erika’s patiently waited for the rest.

I pulled all the scraps from the quilts together to make a bumper pad for Alix. I’ve sewn all the strips/scraps together and will cut the new “fabric” to face one side of the bumper & the quilt print backing for the back side


If there are any scraps from this, I’ll piece those to make a tiny quilt for Evie’s doll bed as a birthday gift.

Keeping my fingers crossed!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

T-Shirt To Skirt Quick and Easy Make Over

Thrifting with Evie the other day she nabbed up this “pink” t-shirt.  She loved it, it met her highest criteria ….it was pink.


Never mind it wouldn’t fit her for another 8-10 years it was PINK! Pinterest has had quite a few photos of t-shirt skirts and I thought well for .89 cents I can’t go wrong.

With so many making do & wanting to learn basic sewing I thought I’d show exactly how  I did this.  So, dust off those sewing machines dig through your t-shirts and lets get busy.

For reference, Evie wears a size 3 or 4.  The t shirt I’m using is a Junior large with a bit of a flare at the bottom (a ladies small would work also)

Measuring Evie, I knew I needed a finished length of 9-10 inches. Or, measure a skirt you know fits well) For the elastic I used  a 3/4 inch.  In my opinion anything wider would be to bulky for a toddler.

This t-shirt had a decent hem so I used it.

Lay your t-shirt flat ensuring the front and back hem is even & the shirt is not bunched in the back. Measure from the hem upward the length you need plus 1-1.5 inches.  From the hem toward the arm I measured 11.5 inches on the side marked it, & did the same toward the other arm.  Use a ruler or straight edge and draw a line between the 2 marks and cut. (make sure the shirt is not bunching underneath)

Tshirt skirt  sheets 001


Tshirt skirt  sheets 002

Turn the “skirt” part inside out and sew or pin about 1/4 inch. Pressing helps (please note I did not use the 4 letter word….. I R O N ) Once that is done, fold over 1 inch and stitch down all the way around creating a casing & leave a 1 inch opening.

Next measure your little one with the elastic around their waist making sure it will easily clear their hips.  You want it snug but not tight.  Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing making sure it doesn’t twist.  Once it’s all the way through overlap the ends of your elastic and stitch through both layers, slide the sewn ends inside the casing and sew the casing shut.

I forgot photos of that part but I‘ve another shirt I need to redo & can provide more photos if needed

Tshirt skirt  sheets 003

Once it’s all the way through overlap the ends of your elastic and stitch through both layers, slide the sewn ends inside the casing and sew the casing shut.

Tshirt skirt  sheets 011

Put on your little one and watch the twirling begin!

Look through your donate pile there is always a t shirt in there. Look for shirts that are straight and have kept their shape.  Avoid plastic or vinyl prints as they tend to  grab and skip stitches. Kids outgrow clothing so fast why not save where you can?

Happy sewing!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Make Over

Thrift shopping yesterday you  may remember I picked up this girls sundress…obviously way to big for Evie. But we liked the colors & the fabric was in fantastic condition726

I removed the bodice leaving about an inch,735

to fold over & create an elastic casing.


Erika and I were laughing because she was using Isaiah’s race car control as a walkie talkie to “call her plane to pick her up”  have no idea where she got that one!

Perfect fit for a size 3/4.  I left all the fullness in the skirt & she was twirling right away.

It took about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Would have been much quicker but I now have a “helper”  Evie is the official family “pin puller”.  As she removed each pin she would say “careful, careful, gently, gently…She loves to stand at my side while I sew and is starting to understand the process of “what comes next”.

I think I’ll have a sewing buddy soon as she is now asking “where’s mine sewing machine”

Last week we made reversible tunics. ”


One for her and one for “Baby Alix,

Prints for St Patrick’s Day on one side and Valentines on another


Evie slipped hers on as soon as they were done, Erika’s had to hide them to save for Valentine’s  I love this style for little girls, tunics in winter when an extra layer is nice and as a sun top with shorts or bloomers in the summer. 

It looks like winter may actually be coming to our part of the world as snow is in the forecast!

Timer is going off which means the Bread is ready to come out of the oven & I need to actually do something productive today.

Have a good one and stay warm out there!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Monday’s Thrifty finds


After running a few errands to today Evie & I stopped into our local thrift store.

I think Evie is going to be a another sewing nut.  I’d seen the fabric in this sundress and was making plans in my head for it when Evie spotted it and shouted ”a Skirt Grandma a SKIRT FOR ME!!

I had already been planning to cut the top off and have a ruffled skirt for her & I think there may be enough left in the bodice for a skirt for Alix.

After looking closely I don’t think it was worn and washed but once.  Not bad for 80 cents!

 Camera dump 6 feb 070

Evie’s no different most other 3yr old little girls,  & holds the firm  belief the color pink was created solely for her.

So, in Evies little world, in her mind anything pink is or should be hers.

Do you have any idea how many “pink” items there are in a thrift store?

I found this pink t-shirt still with tags that will soon become another skirt for her


Camera dump 6 feb 071


At the check out I found a new Easter tablecloth, it’s 50X70  & perfect for the kitchen table.  It was marked $3.50 with an additional 50% off. SCORE!

Since I already have a nice one I think it may become an apron and napkins….bread wrapper & dish towels, who knows!

Camera dump 6 feb 069

Now to carve out the time to get it all sewn up.

What good thrifting deals have you found lately?


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wedding dress shopping

We’ve been dress shopping with my daughter Danielle.  Keep in mind she’s 5’10 and has been dreading this part of the wedding planning knowing finding a dress wouldn’t be easy.  It should be fun for her but wedding dress’ are designed for women 5’5-5’7.  The waist hits her at the ribcage.  It’s hard to even visualize what the style would look like altered. Not that we haven’t had a bit of fun with it…Erika, our “Bonus Daughter” Katie  have  brought Danielle some hideous dresses to try “just because”.

And why do designers think every bride wants to look like a fru fru ruffled 6 foot round puffy skirt Barbie? 

Seriously the dresses we’ve seen all look like

a.  you belong on a sugar crusted cupcake,

new-vera-wang-wedding-dresses-spring-2012Doesn’t she look happy?

b. you stole the crown jewels and they’ve all been sewn on the bust and/or waist line,

Pnina Tornai Strapless Mermaid Wedding Dress with Dropped Waist in Tulle. Bridal Gown Style Number:32023137

c. “Art” dresses that looks as if they were made by crack addicts with scraps from the cutting room floor (seriously the entire  cupcake skirt was covered with these funky swirls of raw edged fraying fabric!)

Pnina Tornai Asymmetric Princess/Ball Gown Wedding Dress with Natural Waist in Organza. Bridal Gown Style Number:32023152

d. dresses with real cup sizes.  There are many other letters past “C” and, not every bride is an emaciated model! 

e.  Sideways ruffles and pleats.  Please there are are women with actual hips!

I tell you in every every shop we would tell them cup sizes and they would smile and say “sure you are” .  Then she tried on the dresses….and would the girls come out to play! 

Her frustration factor is growing.

Come on designers, she wants a simple elegant dress she won’t fall out of….

Is that to much to ask?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

6 More weeks, Really?

What crazy weather we’ve been having……a statement I’m hearing from everyone lately.  We haven’t even had a winter.  Areas that are generally mild are getting hit with lots of snow, others  such as ours have simply had dustings. First time in years we didn’t have a white Christmas.  Yesterday & today its low 60’s and the doors are open….not that I’m complaining I love the fresh air.  But its like mother nature is teasing me. 

I want so badly to get out and putter in the garden. At least I can use this mild weather to weed the strawberry bed and lessen the work in the spring. We’ve been the recipients of weekly loads of rabbit poo to be dumped in the garden.  We’d had quite a bit to mulch with last year and the veggies loved it!  I’m expecting this year to be even better as all we’ve received this winter will be tilled prior to planting.  Never thought I’d be so excited about poo~

It’s been a while since I’ve updated here & there is a lot to catch up on.

The addition is pretty much done. We’ve yet to finish off the studio but, Larry (the most awesome husband) brought me home an 8 ft table so I can set up the sewing machines.  The wool is all organized in bins & needless to say there is more than I thought.    Translate that to mean I could have insulated the new addition with wool if I’d needed to!  Yes, gathered all together there is A LOT more than I thought taking up much needed space…which means I need to get busy knitting.  I could store some down in the land from which people never return basement but  I know me and it would be out of sight out of mind. 

I’ve photo’s aplenty on the lap top I’ll post once It gets home from the computer surgeon.  Seems I had some nasty virus that was shutting everything down.  It’s due to be done today but I’m not holding my breath.

We’ve had a few changes as I mentioned earlier.  A new baby added to the family and a wedding in May OF THIS YEAR for our oldest daughter Danielle.

Which means there will be a lot of DIY projects to come

Stay tuned!


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